The Royal Decree of 5 May 2019 amending various provisions concerning special leave enters into force on 1 June 2019. This Royal Decree leaves in place existing arrangements concerning parental leave, leave for palliative care or leave for medical assistance to a seriously sick member of the household or family. However, what does change is the amount of flexibility available for requests from 1 June 2019 onwards as set out below.
The following provisions now apply to parental leave:
Employers can refuse these various arrangements, within one month of the request, but cannot postpone the exercise of these rights.
Leave for medical assistance to a seriously sick member of the household or family
It is now possible for employees to reduce the minimum suspension period of an employment contract to one, two or three weeks, subject to the employer’s agreement. If, as a result, the remaining part of the maximum suspension period is less than one month, the employee may take the remainder without the employer’s agreement. The employer can refuse the exercise of this right within two working days following the receipt of the request.
Leave for palliative care
An employee may now submit a maximum of three (previously the maximum was two) certificates for leave for palliative care for the same person.
It is important for employers to pay particular attention to these new arrangements when considering any request for one of these forms of special leave as of 1 June 2019.